Local Vet with PTSD Reacts to Possibility of Medical Marijuana

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LACKAWANNA COUNTY -- State lawmakers are expected to soon approve the use of medical marijuana in liquid, pill, and oil form for patients, including those suffering from PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder.

Dave Ragan of Lackawanna County now works on suicide prevention with veterans across our area, with the group Vocal Veterans, which helps prevent veteran suicides.

"They're killing themselves. It's not happening on the battlefield. It's happening at home,” he said from his Blakely home.

Ragan says if medical marijuana can help, he's all for it.

Ragan has struggled with PTSD after ten years in the National Guard and two deployments. He's had two failed marriages, lost a job, and twice tried to kill himself.

"One I had to learn to walk again and one I was on a ventilator and those suicide attempts were with VA prescription medications and basically what I would do, I would save them knowing there would come a time I would be wanting to hurt myself,” said Ragan.

State lawmakers are expected to soon OK medical marijuana for patients with just over a dozen conditions, including PTSD.

“I have never done a drug in my life. I probably smoked one cigarette in my life, but I can honestly tell you after being on certain medications and seeing the side effects of things. I would be willing to give that a shot for my own personal PTSD issues.”

Ragan's father agrees. If the medical marijuana helps veterans or anyone else with PTSD cope with their pain, it could be a good thing. He watched his son struggle with the disorder.

"It baffles you because that's my hero, you know? How's he doing this? How can you do that? Why?" said Edward Ragan.

David Ragan says he did not like being on the prescription drugs prescribed for his depression and PTSD.

Several states have approved medical marijuana use for PTSD. Although, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs, there have been no studies about the effect or safety of medical marijuana on an individual with the disorder.

"Anything that will assist in helping my brothers and sisters save themselves and have relief from PTSD, I most certainly support," said Ragan.

PTSD is not just a disorder veterans suffer from, anyone who has suffered emotional or physical trauma can be diagnosed with PTSD.

The Veteran’s Crisis Line for Vocal Veterans is 1-800-273-8255, press 1 or text 838255.


  • Whistle Blower

    Struggling with PTSD from steak and lobster night on AL ASAD air base, and all that combat he saw in Bosnia. what a spokes person

  • Adam L VanWert

    Medical marijuana is already legal. It’s called marinol. It’s a drug that’s been available for decades, and it’s identical to natural THC.

    • Steve Mosher (@sinsibility)

      The problem with Marinol, Adam, is the dose cannot be adjusted. Modern routes of administration for cannabis can be more closely dosed for the need and sensitivity of the patient. Much better understanding of how and why cannabis works today than back when they formulated Marinol. GreenflowerMedia.com

  • Ryan Vermack

    Its about time… Maybe then over half tge ppulation of teenagers in this area would stop being addicted to heroine and pills.. Also.our jails would be less crowded with more room for real criminals instead of a college kid getting caught with and 8th and getting put in the system … Marijuana is a plant, just like tobacco… But not only safer, its something if they were smart enough they would fully legalize it, tax it…and boom. Take away the drug dealing over pot and concentrate on tge heroine and pills flooding our streets. And get out of debt at the same time…. Factually…. Alcohol is the leading cause of deaths in america… Next to cigarette induced cancers… Has anyone found 1 statistic yet where someone has overdosed on or died due to marijuana…

    #Legalize .

      • Steve Mosher (@sinsibility)

        The drug war rages on Mister.
        Being caught with any amount becomes a huge problem in PA, with fines, driver’s license suspension, criminal record, lost job and worse. Marijuana just doesn’t present enough of a threat to have such draconian punishments.
        While some people might not use cannabis, many do, and you’d never know it. They are not criminals just because a racist law that was passed 80 years ago. Time for people to get over their prohibitionism.

  • Joeboo

    It takes lots of courage to speak about your issues.
    No judgement, when combat has brought the monsters in the night, looking for relief by a legal herbal method might be the answer.
    His service to the country has given him this right.
    He would tell us it was a honor to serve.

    • Steve Mosher (@sinsibility)

      He certainly deserves it because of that service, but the right is all of our’s. Sovereignty of consciousness.
      The criminalization of marijuana is an outdated, unnecessary policy. It costs everyone in this country an incredible amount, that is effectively being stolen by the cannibalizing of the citizenry by a drug war business model of policing for profit, and is not making anyone safer.

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